BOSTON (CBS) – When Jimmy Carter came out of nowhere to win the presidency in 1976, one of his most memorable campaign promises was “I will never tell a lie.”
That promise was eagerly embraced by an electorate starved for more candor after all the lies and evasions of the Nixon era.
Forty years later, doesn’t it feel like we’re right back in that same place again?
Check this out:
In the recent the WBZ-TV, WBZ NewsRadio, UMass Amherst poll voters asked what word came to mind when they think of Donald Trump cited a number of adjectives, with “liar” prominent among them.
There it is again, looming over Hillary Clinton’s word cloud as well. And if you’re thinking that is an unfair word to apply to either candidate, check the facts.
That’s what the non-partisan group Politifact does, checking the facts behind political statements. And their research on Clinton and Trump is dismaying, to say the least.
Out of 263 Hillary Clinton campaign statements analyzed by Politifact, 39 were deemed mostly false, 27 outright false, and six egregiously false, or “pants on fire,” as they like to call it.
That’s 27-percent of Clinton’s statements. That’s a horrible track record, and Trump’s is even worse.
His Politifact scorecard shows 48 mostly false, 97 outright false, and 48 “pants on fire statements,” for a grand total of 70-percent of his 274 analyzed remarks.
I get it, total candor isn’t always possible in life. And in political campaigns that are all about putting a shine on a sneaker, the truth is often bent to fit a narrative.
But whoever wins in November better clean up their act, or the next few years might make the early 70s seem like a golden age of truth by comparison.